Solomon begins the book by talking about attraction (1:1-7) and dating (1:8–2:7). He now moves onto courtship or exclusive dating that leads to marriage, and gives us seven important aspects of courtship. Let’s look at the first four in Song of Solomon 2:8-17:
- Desire for one another grows (vv 8-9, 14) – the young girl describes Solomon’s desire to see her. He is full of excitement, like a young buck. He would do anything, including jumping over mountains, to see her. In verse 14, Solomon wants to feast his eyes upon her beautiful face and hear her sweet voice.
- Courtship should be a delight (vv 10-13) – in these verses we see a description of springtime, full of life and hope. As the couple falls deeper in love, they see life with a renewed perspective, full of joy. What was dark is now bright. This is not a relationship characterized by regret and desperately needing forgiveness.
- A promise to protect one another (vv 15-16a) – the Shulamite calls on Solomon to protect them from the foxes that might destroy the vineyard’s grapes. Foxes would commonly eat the blossoms, which contained water, causing the grapes to not appear. Like this, there are people that might take advantage of one’s vulnerability to quench their thirst only to disappear in the night but leave ruin in destruction behind. She expects him to protect them from outside forces that could harm their relationship (v15), but she too promises her loyalty (v16a).
- A deepening trust and respect (vv 14, 16b-17) – Solomon is seen as the provider and protector of his flock, full of strength and gentleness, like any good shepherd. Because of the respect she has for him, she looks forward to the wedding night and consummating their wedding vows (v17).
Next: Part II